Self Love = Body Love

Natural Beauty

I was online and I saw the Huffington Post’s article about German photographer and model Silvana Denker and her mission to spread #bodylove.

On the streets of Berlin, Denker photographed eight women of different body shapes, sizes and ages in nothing but their underwear and bras. The photos are part of a new series entitled #Bodylove – a public showing of diversity and “how women look in reality.” This movement is fostering a greater tolerance and acceptance for the female body (and sometimes male), the project has become a way to challenge mainstream beauty standards and body shaming.

Seeing this photo triggered something in me.

I, like many, have had an up and down relationship with my body over the years. There are days when I love my body for how strong it is, for the fact that it moves me daily, and that it birthed and fed my son. There are many reasons way I love my body. But then there are days, that my critical mind runs the show and I ‘beat myself up’ for not being perfect and not looking the way I feel I should look.

But ‘perfect‘ and ‘should‘ are not part of the self-love vocabulary.

When I saw this picture I felt respect. I respect that these women are standing proud and talking about the importance of loving and accepting our bodies just as they are.

I also felt was relief. I thought to myself, “I give myself permission to love myself as I am now.”

I am thankful that these women have taken such an incredible stance on self acceptance! I admire the vulnerability, courage and authenticity.

I, like many, I am waaaaayyyyy too hard on myself. Especially after having a baby and my body being different than before I became pregnant. I stand in the mirror and think, “If I could just smooth out this area here, and I just need to lift this bit there.” When left unchecked, the self criticism can run rampant in my mind. Even though I know intellectually that the negative self talk is not helpful or true, I find all the marketing and subliminal messages sneak into my subconscious and before I know it, I’m criticizing myself again.

Seeing this picture gave me permission. Permission to forget about the so-called “ideals”. Permission to stop the comparisons. Permission to tune into the voice of self love that resides within me and tells me that I am beautiful just the way I am.

I hope this photo and it’s message serves as a reminder that we are all okay just as we are. 

Self love = Body Love

xo, M

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  1. Diane Cox says:

    Wonderful picture and worth remembering when feeling self conscious. Thank you.

    • Maryska Taylor says:

      Hi Diane,
      I agree! It helps me remember that we are ALL beautiful and worthy JUST as we are right now. XO M

  2. Laura Merryman says:

    I love the picture of the lovely women. You are spot on with how women are so hard on themselves. I often feel ugly and fat but in reality I know I’m not . I am 55 years old, have had 3 daughters and am 5’7″ and 150 pounds. My husband tells me all the time how beautiful I am. I am not really sure why I obsess about my body? Thank you for giving me some resources to help myself.

    • Maryska Taylor says:

      Hi Laura,
      I know right!? We are sooooo hard on ourselves – when really it’s about cultivating self love and acceptance. I will be writing much more on this in the months to come. Stay tuned. And thank you for sharing – I hope that the articles to come will help inspire you to love yourself more and more daily because you deserve it. XO M

  3. Hello,

    I found this article when I was searching for some articles about my BodyLove campaign. I read your words and I´m so touched by what you´ve written. In the meantime the campaign became very big. I found a sponsor who pays for my travel costs so I´m able to visit cities throughout Europe. On Saturday I was in Copenhagen, it was city number 18 in a bit more than half a year. Every single event is amazing. I´ve met so many wonderful women (and also men) participating in the photoshoots. Every time there´s a special atmosphere and it´s very emotional. I have plenty of wonderful stories, women who told me their stories and how the campaign helped them or how it motivated them to help others. And on the other hand it gives so much back to me. It´s also my own story behind this campaign, my own fight against hating my body, bullying and an eating disorder. It helped me so much that I walked as the hashtag with my BodyLove participants in the Copenhagen carnival.
    I´m happy you see in the picture what I want to say with the campaign. Thank you for your wonderful words 🙂


    • Maryska Taylor says:

      Silvana! I just saw your comments now – so sorry for the delayed response! Thank you SO much for sharing. I hear you and am so grateful for you reaching out!!! I wish you love and light as you continue such important work. Thank you for being vulnerable and daring greatly to share your work! XO M

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